Hot To Trot

The Red Sox pulled out another home win last night, coming from behind and erasing an early deficit. The Patriots had their first cutdown day yesterday and new defensive coordinator Eric Mangini met with the press. The Bruins made a couple of small moves, and there’s another couple items here and there in this morning’s links.

It looked to be a long night for the Red Sox, as Curt Schilling again struggled out of the game, putting his team in a 5-0 hole after two innings. However, the erstwhile ace settled down, and looked much better over his last several innings, and the Red Sox rallied for a 7-6 victory at Fenway Park. Chris Snow wishes the Red Sox could bottle whatever passion seems to arise from them seemingly whenever they play Tampa Bay. Jeff Horrigan says that Schilling is still inconsistent, but fortunately his teammates who swing the bats are the same bunch. Steven Krasner writes that Trot Nixon should be awarded a save and a win for his contributions last night. David Heuschkel notes that it was a small step for Schilling last night as his teammates were able to rally for the win. Lenny Megliola observes that after hearing a few boos in the second inning, Schilling pitched four scoreless innings the rest of the way. David Borges says that number seven once again came up lucky for the Sox.

Dan Shaughnessy compares Schilling to “Cam Neely after Ulf Samuelsson’s cheap shot.” You know Dan is secretly reveling in the struggles of Schilling, though he does show him proper respect by calling the booing which occurred last night “Sheer blasphemy”. Jon Couture says that nothing is certain about Schilling right now, except that he’s going to work at getting better. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox know that their team runs on offense, while at the same time trying to come up with ways to improve their pitching. Tony Massarotti wonders how much longer the team can go on being so one-dimensional.

Matt Kalman has a brief report on Keith Foulke’s outing in Lowell last night, where the Red Sox rehabbing closer struggled once again, giving up four hits and two runs in one inning, while topping out at 87 mph. Nick Cafardo looks at David Wells getting summoned to the commissioner’s office after his statements from Monday night. The Wells comments dominated talk radio and television yesterday. As I listened and watched, I began to wonder when exactly did comments made by the players become more important than the onfield action. Certainly what Wells said was newsworthy and warranted some discussion. However, the almost 24 hour analysis of what he said, as if he were the President or some other Statesman in the “real world” seemed a little out of place with all the other things going on around here. John Tomase wishes Wells would grow up. Horrigan and Borges look at the respect that the Red Sox have for their former teammate, Mark Bellhorn, who signed with the Yankees yesterday. Interesting how many media types said strongly that no team would want to pick up Bellhorn down the stretch.

Bob Hohler submits a semi-feature on the Faith of the Red Sox. He says that the club has on the roster a dozen players who are evangelical Christians, which he says is the largest group on one team in baseball. He examines the growing influence of religion in the clubhouse and how the Red Sox are leading the pack in this regard. Both the Yankees and A’s apparently wanted Bellhorn very much. Howard Bryant (subscription only)looks at how Bronson Arroyo has apparently canceled his remaining musical appearances for this season to concentrate on baseball, whether Johnny Damon might be a fit for the Yankees after the season and the resurgence of the Oakland A’s. Steve Bailey in the Downtown section of the Globe says that it is slowly becoming clear what the Red Sox want to do in the way of improvements in the Fenway area. Sasha Talcott reports on how the Red Sox/Boston College partnership in the Fenway Sports Group is working out.

I was amazed yesterday while listening to the Big Show that all of the panel members (Pete Sheppard, Michael Felger and Sean McAdam) were talking about Craig Hansen and how he would be getting called up Thursday and what his role in September would be. They were even getting a little heated as to whether he would close, or be eased into a setup role. A caller had to bring to their attention Gordon Edes comment in the fourth paragraph of his game story yesterday when he reported that Hansen had been shut down indefinitely with a tired arm.

Snow’s notebook looks at moves the club is making in preparation for setting their postseason roster. He also reports on Hansen, and how the closer will throw Friday to see if his arm is merely “dead” as many pitchers experience during spring training, or if there is something more significant going on. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Wells getting summoned to Bud Selig’s office and reports that trade talks for Steve Trachsel are dead, as Mets GM Omar Minaya has apparently been playing with the Red Sox again. The ProJo notebook looks at Johnny Damon getting into the game last night. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Wells. Borges’ notebook reports on Kevin Youkilis rejoining the big club today.

Eric Mangini was in the spotlight yesterday as the Patriots defensive coordinator spoke to the media about the progress of his unit during his first training camp in charge. Alan Greenberg has probably the most complete report on the session yesterday. Jerome Solomon reports that Mangini seemed a little uncomfortable in the spotlight and didn’t give many specifics during his session. Chris Kennedy says that it has been a smooth transition thus far for the defense. Michael Parente says that Mangini and Romeo Crennel, and even Bill Belichick, are cut from the same cloth. Shalise Manza Young refers to Mangini as a coaching savant, as his rise through the coaching ranks has been rapid.

Karen Guregian looks at Deion Branch, who wishes to shed the “fragile” label. Branch hasn’t been injured during camp, but hasn’t played a down in any of the preseason games, mostly it appears as a precaution. Ian M Clark looks at Monty Beisel making an impact on the Patriots during the preseason. Hector Longo says that Rohan Davey’s career in New England was cut short by poor timing. He seems to indicate that New England fans never accepted the backup quarterback due to his race, comparing him to Michael Bishop and saying the fans never gave him a fair chance. Guregian has a quick report on Tedy Bruschi making an appearance in the lockerrom and how his mere presence can lift up the club.

Solomon’s notebook focuses on the cuts made yesterday, as does Young’s notebook. Guregian’s notebook has more on Mangini. Kennedy’s notebook has another look at Deion Branch. Parente’s notebook has more on the cuts.

Nancy Marrapese Burrell, Stephen Harris and Mick Colageo all report on Hal Gill signing his one year qualifying offer and the Bruins making a minor trade yesterday. Terry Nau talks to Pawtucket native and NHL defenseman Keith Carney about getting back to work and the damage done by the work stoppage.

John Molori’s Media Blitz reports on some possible changes at The Score in Providence, with Sean McAdam’s name coming up. David Scott has his second podcast up and posted.

Jim Donaldson reports on getting out of New Orleans, where he had been this last weekend while getting his son settled at Tulane University.

The Yankees lost in Seattle last night, The New York Times has an article on Curt Schilling. You can get the coverage over at the New York Sports page. Check out the news from the West coast on the Bay Area Sports page.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has baseball at 8:00, and ESPN2 has A’s/Angels at 10:00.

Back on the East Coast

Well, I’m back in town, safe and sound after spending a few days out on the west coast visiting some family and friends. This post really doesn’t have much to do with sports media and Boston, so if you’re not interested, I apologize.

Last Friday night I went to the Giants/Mets game at SBC Park in San Francisco. Steve Trachsel (who might be a member of the Red Sox soon) pitched for the Mets and looked good, shutting down the anemic Giants lineup on two hits over eight innings. The game itself wasn’t much…a 1-0 win for the Mets, but for an out-of-towner such as myself, the game was secondary.

The main attraction was the park. I haven’t been to enough ballparks to be any sort of expert, but I was totally impressed by this place. We bought the tickets way back in April, but like Fenway, it was hard to find a group of seats together. We ended up in the very top row of the ballpark, a little to the left of home plate. Even way up top like that, the seats and view were great. Like Fenway, you’re right on top of the action. Plus, you get an incredible view of the bay and the sky in the background.

The seats were comfortable, enough leg room for my 6’5″ frame. Yes, of course there are cupholders. To put in your cupholders, you can choose from a variety of beers, big name and microbreweries alike. You can also choose from Napa Valley wines or hard liquor drinks as well.

As for the food, two words: Garlic Fries. As you walk the concourses, the smell dominates the air. Every line in front of a stand that sells these is at least 20 deep. In addition, there is the usual ballpark fare, such as hot dogs, sausages and pizza, but there are plenty of specialty stands with clam chowder in a bread bowl, sushi, and Ghirardelli ice cream sundaes.

After the game, we just hopped on the ferry located just a couple hundred feet from the front of the park and took it back to Vallejo, where we had left our car. The whole experience was just outstanding.

So, enough of my travelogue. I come back and find that Boston.com has gotten the Reiss’ Pieces blog up and running, I’m really glad to have it back. I also see that Ron Borges is back to his snarky self with a piece for Pro Football Weekly. A couple excerpts from the article:

For a guy who has to control who seeds the lawns at Gillette Stadium, these are difficult times, and when he

Best of BSMW

I’m still away but don’t forget that you can get your Patriots and Red Sox links from today and the weekend at the following links:

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

Here’s a few items from BSMW this year that might be worth another look.

The Ken Powers Plagiarism case is broken wide open.

Where does the “Dirt” in Dirt Dogs come from? Why Boston Dirt Dogs and Boston.com/The Boston Globe isn’t a good match. Not long after this, the Globe had a disclaimer placed on the Dirt Dogs site clarifying that the Globe sports department has nothing to do with BDD…

Ryen vs. Eddie – a transcript from WWZN, old media takes on new media…

Terry Cashman appears on the Big Show – after his appearance at the ring ceremony before the home opener at Fenway.

Bill Belichick and the New England Media – Why some writers have an agenda against the Patriots coach.

Eddie Speaks Out on WEEI – Andelman has some very strong words about his former employer here. Ron Borges calls out BSMW.

“That’s not what I said” – whoops, it is what he said…

Kevin Millar on the Big Show. – “We never ripped Renteria!”

Boston Magazine on WEEI – Soap Opera tactics revealed!

Got Pitching?

After a 9-8 win against the Tigers on Friday night and a 12-8 loss last night, coming home appears to have had its usual positive impact on the bats. No such luck with the pitching staff. With its 4.87 ERA, the staff is ranked 24th in the Major Leagues (11th in the AL) settled comfortably among the league’s weakest (and poorest) teams. In that the Sox are clearly the best offensive team in the majors, the team has somehow morphed into the late

Bradford in the 8th, Timlin in the 9th

Some brief Saturday links after a relatively busy Friday night on the Boston sports scene.

The Red Sox held off the Tigers 9-8 in an ugly game over at Fenway that started an hour late due to the turf issues resulting from the pair of Rolling Stones shows earlier in the week. Tim Wakefield and the middle relief struggled though the offense came back to life upon its return home. In the Globe, Chris Snow has the game story, Marvin Pave focuses on the new bullpen combo and setup man Chad Bradford and closer Mike Timlin. In a story that must be reverberating throughout the PR conscious Sox front office, the Herald

The State of The Boston Globe – Part Two

Bruce is out of town for a few days. This is the second of a two-part article looking at the current sports coverage by the Boston Globe. Today, we look at the football, basketball and other sports coverage, as well as a look at the job done by Sports Editor Joe Sullivan. If you’re looking for links to the Red Sox and Patriots stories, you can get some of them here:

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

The State of the Boston Globe, August 2005. Part II

Football Coverage
Jerome Solomon
Nick Cafardo
Ron Borges (Boxing)
Adam Kilgore
Ron Indrisano
Mike Reiss?

While Snow has been great, I guess the jury is still out on Jerome Solomon, or is two games into the preseason too early to be passing judgment on a new beat writer? Hey, the media can tell us who is a bust by the time mini-camp rolls around, so maybe I

The State of The Boston Globe – Part One

Bruce is out of town for a few days. This is the first of a two-part article looking at the current sports coverage by the Boston Globe. Today, we look at the columnists, baseball, hockey and media coverage. If you’re looking for links to the Red Sox and Patriots stories, you can get some of them here:

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

The State of the Boston Globe, August 2005. Part I

Columnists
Bob Ryan
Dan Shaughnessy
Jackie MacMullan

These three are all capable of cranking out compelling columns. Bob Ryan is still a must-read almost every time out, and can produce an interesting column on even the most minor or mundane sport. That seems to be part of the problem from where I sit. He

A Few Days Away

I’m going to be away until next Tuesday. For Thursday and Friday I have put together a lengthy look at the current state of the Boston Globe, looking at each area of sports coverage and giving them each a grade.

I think there will be at least one day of links over the weekend, and for Monday, I’ll have something posted as well.

For the days without the daily links, I’ve created a couple of pages to help make your daily reading at least a little easier without having the full front page links.

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

These pages will update automatically. They aren’t all inclusive, but they should make things a little easier for you to find the major stories in one spot.

Scott’s Shots will have its regular Friday posting, and make sure to check in on the Patriots Game Day Rear View page for updates as well.

A scattering of afternoon links. Mike Reiss has the first edition of his Boston.com mailbag, Ask Reiss. Lots of linebacker and run defense questions in there this week. Mark Farinella looks at Bill Belichick rounding into form with the media, and is glad that he can turn some sarcasm back at the Patriots coach. Eric McHugh and Rob Bradford each have articles on the offensive line, which is a close bunch, even when jobs are up for grabs and injuries cause others to have to move around on the line. Tom Curran’s Blog has Matt Light’s father saying that his son’s injury isn’t serious. He also clarifies what stats Bill Belichick was actually referring to in the exchange he had with Alan Greenberg during yesterday’s press conference. This is also the incident referred to in Farinella’s article above.

Jim Fenton has an article on new Celtics point guard Dan Dickau.

Jeff Sullivan tells some interesting tales from his sportswriting days, involving Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and Juan Gonzalez. Chad Finn writes about the Red Sox, Royals, Julio Franco and Dan Dickau among other things.

Red Sox Royalty

The Red Sox had a fairly easy time of it in Kansas City last night. The Patriots continue training camp as they prepare to face Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Friday night. Those are the main stories today, but there are a few other links out there as well.

It got a little tighter there towards the end, but all in all, it was another routine win for the Red Sox, 5-2 over the Royals last night. Chris Snow looks at how Mike Timlin’s ninth inning unfolded. Michael Silverman calls last night’s game embarrassingly one-sided until the ninth inning. Steven Krasner says that David Wells still feels a little “funky” but he had enough to get the win last night. David Heuschkel notes that the Red Sox were able to make the most of their early opportunities.

Bob Ryan writes that the 2005 Red Sox have been, and will continue to play with house money. They won it all last year, and aren’t really expected to be the favorite again, so we should just sit back and enjoy the ride. I enjoyed his paragraph referencing those who thought that winning the World Series would ruin the “Red Sox experience”, he calls that “an absurd reach on the part of pseudo-intellectuals who can spoil the fun with ludicrous over-analysis.” He correctly says that if winning once is nice, winning more than once is much better. Ask longtime Celtics fans. Ask current Patriots fans.

Karen Guregian looks at how David Wells is still dealing with the “aftershocks” of the virus that has weakened him over his last few starts. Gordon Edes looks at Mike Sweeney and how the Royals first baseman is stuck in Kansas City for a few more year, but might also be available after the season in a trade. Kelsie Smith looks at traveling man Trot Nixon, who found himself back in right field for the Red Sox last night. Guregian looks at Mike Remlinger, who was at least temporarily saved when the Red Sox decided to option Lenny DiNardo back to Pawtucket.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a very strong column this morning speaking about against the media for their silence in the steroid issue in baseball for the last seven years. He notes:

The general media assessment during the steroid era was naivet

08.23.2005 Afternoon

Apparently the clarification this morning did nothing for the local sports radio talkers. Glenn Ordway was still talking about the Red Sox needing to call up Craig Hansen prior to September 1st in order for him to be eligible for the postseason. After a few minutes of discussion, Steve Buckley got closer to the truth when he said he thought that the player just had to be in the organization prior to September 1st. Ordway asked him several times if he was sure, doubting that information. Buckley promised to check it out during the next break. (A couple breaks have gone by without a mention thus far) Buckley conveyed the correct information shortly before 4:00.

Chaz Scoggins says that Curt Schilling was not the answer to the Red Sox bullpen woes. Eric Wilbur says thanks for nothing, Schill, and looks at what the bullpen might look like in September. Ken Rosenthal thinks that Theo Epstein is going to ask for Billy Beane money after this season, and could threaten to go to the Yankees if he doesn’t get it. I’m pretty sure this is all pure speculation on the part of Rosenthal, as there are no sources cited to back this up.

Eric McHugh looks at the newest member of the Patriots, receiver Andre Davis. He also runs down the 12 receivers currently in camp. Glen Farley gets reaction in the Patriots lockerroom to the death of Thomas Herrion. Tom Curran’s blog has the account of a back-and-forth between Bill Belichick and the Hartford Courant’s Alan Greenberg this morning. McHugh’s notebook has more Patriots reaction to the sudden passing of Herrion.

Kirk Minihane has started a fantasy sports column for the Lowell Sun. This is still pretty unique in New England papers. I think the New Bedford Standard Times does some fantasy stuff, but most of the bigger papers have not really latched onto this niche yet. I’m not a fantasy sports player myself, but it seems that almost everyone I know is doing it.

Bill Simmons has some thoughts on the ESPN2 Frank Deford documentary, and has his sports book recommendation of the week. Journalism.org has a look at how newspaper sports writing differs from the news coverage.

Some of the key findings from the study:
  • Sports stories were overwhelmingly one-sided